Fresh from his tour in the Marine Corps, Cristian Raymundo wanted more than just a job when he settled back into civilian life.
A chance meeting at an employment event for veterans set Raymundo on a path that would lead him to the Universal Technical Institute (UTI) Norwood, Massachusetts, and a successful career with Penske.
Now, five years into his Penske career, Raymundo has worked his way up from apprentice technician to branch service manager at the Boston location.
“I have been so blessed in my career progression,” Raymundo said. “Penske is not a job but a career.”
By the year 2024, the U.S. Department of Labor projects that there will be more than 1.2 million jobs in the collision, automotive, motorcycle and marine industries, according to UTI.
UTI offers post-secondary education for students interested in careers in professional automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine technicians. It operates 12 campuses across the country and has graduated more than 200,000 students over the past 51 years.
Penske has aligned with schools like UTI because it recognizes the pivotal role technicians play in the transportation industry.
“I am a big supporter of Universal Technical Institute,” Roger Penske, Founder and Chairman of Penske Corporation, told Inc.com in a recent interview. “Technician is one of the most important jobs at our automotive and trucking businesses.”
“UTI has graduated more than 200,000 technicians but has built a reputation on the quality and training its program provides and the success of its graduates,” Mr. Penske said. “UTI offers programs supported and branded by many different manufacturers and using the latest and most up-to-date technology.”
It was during a conversation with a UTI representative that Raymundo realized that he could turn his affinity for working on cars into a viable career, so he decided to enroll in the Diesel & Industrial Technology program at UTI’s Norwood campus.
“Initially, I did not have an interest in diesel, but I figured I would learn about it because it probably would help me out somewhere down the line,” Raymundo said.
It paid off sooner than he anticipated when he landed a part-time job with Penske’s Boston location. And after five promotions, he has never left.
“I always liked working here because everyone was honest, friendly and were always looking out for my best interest,” Raymundo said. “I enjoy the challenge, but I enjoy the relationship we have here in Boston as a team and the opportunities they have given me in order to succeed in my career.”
During his time at UTI, Raymundo became a national finalist for the Roger Penske Outstanding Student Award.
The award recognizes exceptional UTI students who are dedicated to succeeding in the automotive services industry while at the same time demonstrating an ability to assist other students to do the same.
It is a quality that has followed Raymundo from the classroom to the workplace.
“Cristian’s outstanding academic achievement – and the leadership and service he demonstrated in the classroom while at Universal Technical Institute – reflect the success he has had at Penske,” said Shawn Alexander, president of the Norwood Campus, recently. “We are proud to have him as a graduate of the UTI-Norwood Campus.”
Raymundo said he is very grateful for the education he received as a UTI student.
“UTI gave me a solid base to be able to understand my job better. I didn’t know how to repair everything after graduating, but UTI gave me the foundation that allowed me to understand what I was working on and how it operated and allowed me to think outside the box on how to repair and how items worked,” Raymundo said.
For students – and veterans – looking for a company offering advancement, Raymundo said they should explore Penske.
“Penske is not a job but a career. It will give you as much as you put into it, and if you want to continue learning and working on the most current engines and technology, this is the place to be,” he said. “Here at Penske, it doesn’t matter if you are new or old to the field; you will always learn something new and will continue to expand your knowledge.”
Penske Truck Leasing and Penske Logistics offer a wide range of career opportunities, including: truck fleet maintenance technicians, truck drivers, fleet maintenance supervisors, operations management roles, as well as logistics and supply chain operations roles and many others. Visit GoPenske.com/careers/veterans for more information on career opportunities.
By Bernie Mixon